TOKYO, Oct 9 – PRIME. Japan still considers the Russian Sakhalin-1 project important in terms of diversifying oil import channels and ensuring stable supplies, Yasutoshi Nishimura, head of the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said on NHK television.
“Japan is 90% dependent on oil supplies from the Middle East, but the Sakhalin-1 project is important in terms of diversifying import channels and ensuring stable supplies,” he said.
Nishimura also stressed that “at present, the volume of oil imports from the Sakhalin-1 project is at zero.” “In general, this is an important project in terms of diversifying oil imports. Therefore, we would like to clarify the intentions of the Russian side and decide on specific further actions, taking into account close consultations with the parties involved,” the minister added.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to create a new Russian operator of the Sakhalin-1 project, which will take over the rights and obligations of Exxon Neftegaz limited. The new operator of the Sakhalin 1 project will be managed by the Rosneft structure Sakhalinmorneftegaz-Shelf, at least until all stakes in the operator are distributed, after which the authority of the structure can be extended, follows from the decree of the President of the Russian Federation.
The current operator of the Sakhalin-1 project, Exxon Neftegaz Limited (a subsidiary of ExxonMobil), owns a 30% stake in it. In March, the company announced its intention to withdraw from the project, and in April, the introduction of a force majeure regime, as a result of which the project was almost stopped. At the moment, gas and oil production is completely stopped. Also shareholders of Sakhalin-1 are Rosneft (20%), Japanese Sodeco (30%) and Indian ONGC (20%).